In Issue 25 of Discover Dolls Magazine Ruth was asked about what was the biggest highlight of her Sculpting Career so far. She wrote ... “Another highlight for me is knowing the Doll Museum in the Czech Republic has six of my OOAK preemie sculpts on display. I keep saying one day I will travel there to see them, and one day I will!”
The "Muzeum Panenek" is located close to Prague in the heart of the Czech Republic. The Museum is situated in a small village called Troskovice, at an altitude of 349 meters in a romantic protected landscape known as the Czech Paradise, way up in the hillsides nestled just below the “Trosky Castle”
Ruth received a surprise in the mail ... tickets and an invite to go and visit the museum, she was so excited and was determined to make her dream come true of visiting the museum, it is something which she has often talked about, but in her heart never thought would happen. Living in Germany as part of the Military I am away for many months at a time, and having five children to care for and a full time UK Company to run, Ruth has very little personal time, and chasing her dreams seems to take a back seat. But....
“The Dream came True”
Late on Friday 19th August 2011 Ruth and I set off from our home in Germany to drive over 700km to the Museum in Troskovice in the Czech Republic. Ruth was so excited to be finally going to visit the museum and to see her works of art on display... and as her very proud Husband I want to share our amazing journey with you, it is a long time since I have seen such a spark in my wife's eyes, she works so hard in the Reborn and OOAK Industry and to see the smile on her face as we got closer to the Czech Republic was worth the wait.
We arrived at the Museum on Saturday Morning after a breath taking journey through the beautiful Czech countryside. The museum have been purchasing dolls from Ruth for the past few years, but we no idea which dolls would be on display. The Museum have a rotating display and not all of the dolls they purchase are displayed in the museum.
Ruth and I walked into the Museum to the warmest reception from Owners Nada and Jiri. Ruth's eyes just widened as she tried to take in those first few glimpses of the museum. "Wow it's amazing!" she whispered to me.... and she was not wrong. For any husband of any doll enthusiast or Artist, we become accustomed to catching site of dolls, kits and Artist materials which ever way we glance, but this was even a new experience for me. It was hard to take in the sheer volume of dolls and the wide variety of dolls on display.
In the entrance of the Museum was a discover dolls magazine open on the page where Ruth had mentioned her dream of visiting the Museum. Nada asked Ruth if she would mind writing something which they could display alongside this almost "famous quote"
We started to look around the Museums various rooms and displays, the displays were varied and it was hard to take everything in. Ruth will be writing a second account of all the different dolls on display. For now I will just concentrate on the babies on display by Ruth.
The first of Ruth's dolls she was drawn to was baby Nicolas, this baby has remained Ruth's favourite baby for nearly a year now, he was the first newborn sized OOAK the she had offered for adoption for quite some time as she usually concentrates on Preemie babies. All of the babies in the main Reborn and OOAK display are in hospital cribs and have glass over the top to prevent the visitors from touching them, so each baby is kept in mint condition. Seeing him there on display was fantastic for Ruth. Nada said "I love Nicolas, he is perfect and he very popular with visitors"
Behind Nicolas was a large Incubator with three of Ruth's earlier sculpts, Millie, George and Annette. These babies were some of the first OOAK sculpts which had been purchased by the Museum, and seeing them still on display was great. Annette was Ruth's Colliii entry back in 2009. George and Millie have been featured in a newspaper in the Czech republic, there was a copy of the News Paper in the Museum.
Another one of Ruth's early sculptures was displayed in a glass dome with a photograph of Ruth Sculpting. This was an extremely early sculpt and looking at that one, then looking at Nicolas was quite a contrast and a testament to the fact Sculpting Artists are forever improving their skills and realism.
When we knew we would be visiting the Museum, Ruth sculpted a 10" mini baby to present to Nada as a gift for the Museum. It was a lovely moment when the new addition to the Museum was handed over.
It was a special privilege to be allowed to take photographs throughout the Museum, as it holds a no photography policy to protect the collections. Some of the dolls in the Museum are over 120 years old.
After we had explored the Museums delights we were invited to Nada's home and to see some of the Babies which she is preparing for a special exhibition next season. Nada is planning to have a larger section of the Museum dedicated solely to the Reborn and OOAK babies by Ruth. Some of the most recent babies purchased by the Museum will be displayed in this exhibition, and we were lucky enough to be given permission to take some photographs.
In the evening we were treated to some sightseeing and a beautiful meal with Nada, Jiri and their beautiful daughter Paula. We visited castles, Caves and Lakes which are all located in the Beautiful Bohemia Paradise. On the Sunday we returned to the Museum as there was so much to see.
Nada presented Ruth with a very special Antique doll from the 1930's. The doll is a traditional Czech play doll which belonged to Nada's Mum (Also named Ruth) The doll had been in the Museum as their mascot for the past 6 years. Ruth was so overjoyed and was so honoured to be given such a wonderful gift, she will treasure the doll for ever.
Ruth and I never realised how beautiful this area of the world was, and we will definitely be visiting again next year, but for a longer family holiday. To find out more about this amazing Museum, please visit www.muzeumpanenek.cz
Written by Billy Herrington.
A Selection of Babies on Display in the Museum
Ruth handing over the OOAK Gift to Nada